Where and when did the parliament in England appear? History of the English Parliament

Parliament is a widespread electoral authority in any democratic country. It can be called differently. In the Russian Federation it is the Duma, in Israel - the Knesset, in Germany - the Bundestag. The history of the emergence of this authority took place in different countries according to the same historical laws. On an example of the British government we will try to tell, where and when there was a parliament in England.


The possibility to trace the origin of the electoral system on the British peninsula can be traced from the moment when Roman legionaries retired from these places. The stages of the formation of statehood were very slow, and the royal power was weak. The development of cities led to the birth of a new class - the bourgeoisie, which is trying to defend its interests along with large landowners at the state level.

In the chronicles of some English counties, evidence was presented that the sheriffs of these places sent noble knights to advise kings on taxation and other financial matters. Kings, of course, did not need the thoughts of knights and townspeople on this matter, and full agreement with the opinion of the Crown was required. But with the opinion of the subjects still had to reckon. It is in these conditions that representative assemblies are taking place in Western Europe, which have had a deterrent effect on the appetites of their monarchs - the General States of France, the Reichstag of Germany and the Parliament of England. The history of Britain links the emergence of this institution of power with the name of one of the most influential figures of the time - Simon de Montfort.

Royal ambitions

The aggravation between the three ruling classes of England reached its peak at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The power of the barons was recognized as the head of England by the son of King John Henry III. He was a weak and cowardly monarch, who was always under somebody's influence. Distributing land and wealth to foreigners, he aroused indignation among all sections of the population. In addition, for the sake of his family's ambitions Henry was going to get involved in the war for the Sicilian crown, which he needed for his son. For warfare, he demanded a third of all the country's income.

The first Parliament in England had not been established by that time, so no one could resist the King with firm and reasonable resistance. Excerpts from the chronicles of that time say that the barons were so outraged by the inordinate appetites of their king that they "rang in their ears". It was necessary to take drastic measures.

Crazy advice

On the question of where and when the parliament appeared in England, the answer can be obtained in medieval chronicles, which for the most part are dusting in the archives of public libraries. They can find references to the event that occurred in Oxford in 1258. Then the barons, outraged by the arbitrariness of their monarch, gathered the royal council in this city. In history he entered under the name "Raging (frantic) advice". According to the decision of the barons, the power of foreigners in the country was limited, the ownership of lands and castles passed to the English nobles, and all important matters the king had to coordinate with the big landowners.

Knight and revolutionary

Having achieved concessions from the king, the barons did not think to take care of ordinary knights and the bourgeoisie. Protests broke out in the country. The most radical wing of the rebels was led by Simon de Montfort. Initially, the king's army was defeated, and the monarch and his son Edward were captured. Montfort entered London and began to rule England.

Representative meetings

Montford realized that his power, not backed by any rights, is extremely fragile. In order to rule the country in his position, it was necessary to enlist the support of broad sections of society. The decision of Montfort already answers the question of why the parliament was created in England. This is primarily the support of society, the receipt of regular financial injections, the strengthening of royal power in the field.

In 1265, a meeting of three property classes of medieval England was convened in London. He was invited to spiritual and secular magnates, as well as representatives of chivalry and the urban bourgeoisie. The language of communication of noble gentlemen then, like many years later, was French, and English folk speech was used only by peasants and artisans. Therefore, the parliament was named in the French manner. The root of this word is the French "parley", which means "talking".

The end of Montfort

Most invaders do not long enjoy the gifts of their victories. So Montfort quickly lost power and was killed in the fight with supporters of Prince Edward. The power of the king was restored, and a lesson from the incident was received.

The elected assembly remained a state authority even after Montfort. But where and when the parliament in England appeared after these events is a completely different story.

London and Parliament

Know and the royal authorities by their own example made sure that without the support of knights and townspeople, England will not be easy to manage. Even after the death of Montfort, the English Parliament lived and performed certain functions in the Middle Ages. For example, in order to avoid new popular unrest, in 1297 King Edward signed a decree according to which no tax can be imposed in the kingdom without the approval of its parliament.

The latter was built on the principles of compliance with the terms of contracts - thereby laying the principles of modern justice. Transparent terms of the transaction between the state authorities and royal subjects guaranteed that it would be beneficial for both sides to respect agreements. Only the form of the elected assembly has changed since then.

How was the parliament organized in England

As a standing body of government, the Parliament in England in the Middle Ages fully functioned, beginning in 1265. Representatives of the titled nobility and the higher spiritual estate received personal documents allowing them to participate in the work of the parliament, and for ordinary knights and townspeople there was a general invitation.

How the parliament was organized in England can be seen in the modern British government - in fact, for 900 years, nothing has changed in the structure of this body of government. The whole parliament is divided into two large chambers. The first - the House of Lords - includes the descendants of those same barons who participated in the "Furious Council." They are representatives of the titled nobility and spiritual nobility. In the XIV century the clergy left the assembly of parliament, but later returned to its ranks. The lower house - the House of Commons - is occupied by the heirs of those who were sent "general invitations" in distant times. They are the descendants of knights and rich citizens. Currently, representatives of the House of Commons include deputies from the local nobility, whom the society on the ground has entrusted to represent their interests in the capital.

The ability to directly control the power gave impetus to the development of local self-government - in various counties, local assemblies were created, and city interests were defended in councils.

We hope that from this article it becomes clear where and when the parliament appeared in England. We examined in detail the influence that the elected self-government system had on English kings in the Middle Ages.

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